ANDOVER – For Danielle and Carlo Berdahn, owners of Yella Grille in Andover, the last several months have been filled with challenges, as their restaurant was one of the businesses significantly affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley.
Danielle Berdahn recalls closing their doors on September 13 due to the explosions leading to businesses having no gas. “One day it was business as usual, and then this,” she said. “It was really stressful. Anyone who operates a small business can appreciate the scope of a challenge of not being able to operate a business and earn revenue.” But, as their ordeal nears an end, she and her husband say they had a great deal of help along the way.
They enlisted the services of National Loss Investigators and its principal officer, Daniel P. Gibson, to help them navigate their way through negotiations with the insurance companies to secure reimbursement for claims.
National Loss Investigators works with insurance companies, third party administrators, syndicates, and corporations to provide clients specifically designed investigations to meet their needs, including services for general liability, negligent security, dram shop, assault and battery, workers compensation, food poisoning, accident investigation, background investigations, and surveillance and property claims.
Their situation was further complicated by their expansion plans. The Berdahns plan to open a second location, Yella on the Water, in Gloucester in Spring 2019. So, not only were they focused on getting their Andover location re-opened as quickly as possible, they also needed to expend some of their energies toward the new location.
Their plight, and that of their fellow area business people, caught the attention of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who toured the area and met with the Berdahns several times.
“Dan has been a tireless advocate for us, a great advisor during this time. Insurance is not an area we have experience in. Having Dan to guide us through collecting our claims and working through the issues has been invaluable,” said Danielle. “It’s not an easy process and hasn’t been.”
The Mediterranean restaurant at 16 Post Office Avenue, which has been open for 9 years, seats 40 in the dining room and in the good weather has capacity for 24 more outside.
Gibson said, “It was a pleasure to work with Carlo and Danielle. They are like family to me. They run a first-rate operation, and what happened to them and so many other businesses was overwhelming. There are so many challenges to navigating through losses and claims, and we knew that time was of the essence for their plans.”
The restaurant and hospitality industry is a familiar one to the Berdahns. Danielle worked for the Catered Affair for a number of years where she managed events for Governor Deval Patrick, Senator John Kerry, Bob Kraft, President Bill Clinton, and others. Her husband, Carlo, a Lebanon native, owned a restaurant on Cape Cod, sold it, and began to work for the Catered Affair, which is where he met Danielle. As part of what helps make Yella Grille unique, he travels back to Lebanon to bring back spices used for meal preparation which cannot be found locally.